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Build Your Career Work-Life Balance

The 10 Best Cities for Work-Life Balance

The 10 Best Cities for Work-Life Balance
Credit: Boffi/Shutterstock

Having a positive work-life balance isn't totally dependent on your job; where you live can also play a role.

Bloomington, Indiana, tops this year's ranking of the best cities for work-life balance, according to the finance site NerdWallet. Home to Indiana University, the top employer in the region, Bloomington was crowned the best city for work-life balance because of the low number of average weekly hours worked, as well as its shorter average commute times.

"Workers who seek a healthy work-life balance can reduce stress and improve the quality of their lives," Divya Raghaven, a strategy associate at NerdWallet, wrote on the company's blog.

NerdWallet figured its rankings of 536 U.S. cities based on four factors: the mean hours worked per week by an average employee in each city, the average daily commute time, as well as the median earnings for full-time, year-round workers and the median rent in each city.

A common theme among the highest-ranked cities is that seven of the top 10 are home to major colleges or universities. Rounding out this year's 10 best cities for work-life balance are:

  • Provo, Utah — Employees in Provo average 30.9-hour workweeks, the lowest of all the 536 cities in the study. Brigham Young University is located in Provo and is among its top employers.
  • Gainesville, Florida — The average Gainesville employee works just 32.5 hours a week. A major employer there is the University of Florida, the eighth-largest university in the United States.
  • Eau Claire, Wisconsin — In addition to a workweek with fewer hours, Eau Claire employees spend less time commuting and have a relatively low cost of living. The home-improvement chain Menards is headquartered in Eau Claire and is one of the city's major employers.
  • Tuscaloosa, Alabama — Besides being home to the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa is a manufacturing, service and retail hub. Employees there average just 33.1-hour workweeks.
  • Iowa City, Iowa – Employees inIowa City work an average of 34.1 hours a week and spend just 17.2 minutes on their daily commute. The University of Iowa is the largest employer in Iowa City.
  • College Station, Texas– College Station is home to Texas A&M University, one of the largest institutions for higher education in the nation.Residents there work an average of 34.1 hours each week and have an average commute of 17.1 minutes.
  • Eugene, Oregon – Employees in Eugene work an average of 34 hours a week and have median earnings of $42,288. Top employers in Eugene include PeaceHealth Medical Group and the University of Oregon.
  • Bellingham, Washington — Workers in Bellingham spend an average of 33.4 hours a week on the job and have average commute times of just 17.5 minutes.
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan — Employees in Kalamazoo work an average of 33.6 hours a week and spend an average of $866 a month on rent. Kalamazoo is home to companies in the pharmaceutical, life sciences and manufacturing industries.

Some of the cities that ranked among the worst for work-life balance include Dale City, Virginia; Waldorf and Germantown, Maryland; Menifee and Tracy, California; and New York City.

Originally published on Business News Daily

Chad  Brooks
Chad Brooks

Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance writer who has nearly 15 years experience in the media business. A graduate of Indiana University, he spent nearly a decade as a staff reporter for the Daily Herald in suburban Chicago, covering a wide array of topics including, local and state government, crime, the legal system and education. Following his years at the newspaper Chad worked in public relations, helping promote small businesses throughout the U.S. Follow him on Twitter.

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